I wrote to Phiona this week to tell her I won’t be working as much, though always available, because it is our Thanksgiving holiday. I asked her to explain to the children how we as a country stop work for a day, gather with family, prepare a feast, and give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. It is a holiday that I personally cherish. I simply wanted the children to understand our holiday. But on Thanksgiving morning I was greeted by an email from Phiona with photos from the children.
She said she explained it, and they were quiet and thoughtful about it then they each wanted to share what they felt on their hearts that causes them to feel the need to give thanks. I tell you this came from their hearts, this was not scripted for them. There was an organization we worked with who were fraudsters and they would send me these written messages from the kids and it was all scripted and posed. That’s not the way we do it in our Kirabo Seeds home. We have integrity and we say what is true even if it’s hard to receive.
Anyway. These children were sharing their hearts with us about what they are thankful for and I knew instantly I wanted to share them with you. They are able to give thanks for these blessings because all of the sponsors have committed to helping them live a better life. These pictures were the absolute highlight of my holiday…right up close to hours spent peeling and slicing apples with all my boys helping. Oh my boys love apple pie so much they wanted to learn to make it.
At our thanksgiving table, as in probably every home across the nation, we take turns saying what we are thankful for. Jordan made us all laugh, probably spitting a little mashed potatoes, because he said, “I’m thankful that God has a plan because Obama doesn’t have one.” (he is an ULTRA conservative. In his government class they did a survey and he came out second most conservative in all the classes.)
Jack said he is thankful for Forgiveness, and adding that this year learning how we are forgiven has meant a lot to him and has changed his faith deeply. This boy is so tender.
Donny is thankful for his family and being together with us. Aww… and he’s shown it too with being in the kitchen cooking with all of us every step of the preparation for the meal.
I honestly can’t remember what Kevin said, and I don’t want to go wake him up for a reminder, shame on me, so I will update this as soon as we get his thoughts repeated. They are always worth noting. It must have been while I was taking Kira to go poop on the potty during the meal.
First thing Craig said with a smirk is “I’m thankful for my wife and her horse!” Then he laughed and laughed though he should’ve been choking because recently he received Gwinny’s vet bills for her ankle problems. He never misses a chance to poke me in the ribs, but he did get serious and say he was thankful that we have finally moved past the messy tangles of doing work in Uganda and we are free and clear to do ministry with the children. Amen.
For me, I have much to be thankful for. I count the ways constantly. I am so thankful for all the help I receive in every area of my life. The boys help at home, sponsors help me care for the children, the team in Uganda helps us accomplish goals, the Holy Spirit in me helps me understand and have wisdom. Without the help in my life I’d be drowning in the load of responsibility resting on my shoulders. I feel like my life is this great collaborative effort and we stand in a circle of God’s purpose and plan. No one is at the head except God.
After our rounds of thanks, while exclaiming the great culinary achievements of a team effort, Kevin asked Craig and I to share what we appreciate uniquely about each child. While we gathered our thoughts, little Kira went from person to person at the table serving imaginary tea, sprinkling it with something important and waiting expectantly to refill our cup. “is it good?”
We shared with the boys what we find so uniquely amazing about each of them in a way that would encourage them and yet not stir up jealousy or competition. They soaked it in. I don’t think we can encourage our children enough by telling them sincerely and thoughtfully who they are becoming in our eyes, and how much we like the way they are as individual people.
My husband just staggered in for his coffee, and before I said good morning, I asked, What did Kevin say he was thankful for? He tipped his head up, and said, “He is thankful God didn’t give up on us.”
I knew it was good.